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Michael Stipe Will Make His TV Debut as a Solo Artist on ‘Fallon’ Next Week

Michael Stipe
Vittorio Zunino Celotto, Getty Images

Michael Stipe has been playing sporadic, unannounced solo gigs across New York City as of late, and now, he’ll take that show to the Fallon stage.

The R.E.M. frontman will make his TV debut as a solo artist on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon this Tuesday (March 29). Stipe played his very first solo set when he opened for Patti Smith at Webster Hall in 2014. He chose to perform two R.E.M. songs (“New Test Leper,” “Saturn Return”) and four covers: Perfume Genius’ “Hood,” Smith’s “Wing,” the New York, New York theme song and Vic Chesnutt’s “Lucinda Williams.” Stipe opened for Smith a second time at the end of last year, and he again opted for a bunch of covers, including Boy George, John Lennon, the Doors, Neil Young and Mott the Hoople. We’ll just have to wait and see if Stipe decides to perform new material during his appearance on Fallon, which airs every weeknight at 11:35PM EST on NBC.

R.E.M. broke up in 2011, and Peter Buck recently opened up about the experience. “We got together, and Michael said, ‘I think you guys will understand. I need to be away from this for a long time,’” Buck recalled. “And I said, ‘How about forever?’ Michael looked at Mike [Mills], and Mike said, ‘Sounds right to me.’ That’s how we decided.”

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